Broa di Milho (Portuguese Corn Bread)

Last night was my very first class back to school for the Fall term. The class: Rustic Artisan Breads. Yum! 😉

I will admit going into the class, I was a little nervous. Whenever I start a new class I am a little nervous, but in this case, there were two reasons. Reason # 1) Rustic Artisan Bread is an advanced bread class. It is not actually part of the Baking Arts program I am in, but an advanced bread class part of the Artisan Breads Program. Reason #2) I was especially nervous for this class because the Chef teaching the class is much more serious, from what I could tell based on the one time she filled in for my Art of Breads Chef. This Chef was fast, no-nonsense, and very serious. Past Chefs added humour to relax the class, but my one experience with this particular Chef wasn’t like that. Now its not to say she wasn’t nice, because she was very nice, but it was different. Its hard to explain. Either way, just from that one class with her, I discovered how good she was and there was no question I wanted to take this class! 🙂

In last night’s class we made Broa di Milho (Portuguese Corn Bread). Apparently this is an old and popular bread in Portugal, though there are many kinds of Broa de Milho made with varying types and amounts of corn meal. The final result a very large 1kg loaf. Although during rest, the dough rose and kept the air pockets to form, the final product was still a very dense bread. But it is not as sweet as alot of North American corn breads.

In last night’s class we also made our Biga for next week’s class where we will make a Pane de Altamura (Semolina Bread from Altamura). Biga is an Italian term for pre-fermentaed dough. Its is uusally a firm pre dough (or starter) – approximately 60% hydration – consisting only of water, flour and a small amount of yeast. Like many forms of prefermented dough, biga’s are used to provide the flavour found in slowly fermented breads.

Working the ovens.
Broa di Milho (Portuguese Corn Bread) fresh out of the oven!

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